The Yucatan Peninsula in the southeastern region of Mexico is one of the most interesting regions of the world because it offers so many opportunities to take on adventures in its natural wonders. It also provides a chance to explore the archaeological sites of the Maya people who developed the dominant civilization throughout Mesoamerica. Mayans built immense cities and temples and developed trade, science, sports and more for a period of more than 3,000 years.
We got a chance to learn more about Maya culture and spend a day at play in the outdoors on a tour with Aventuras Mayas, which we found through Olympus Tours. Our Tulum Xtreme Snorkeling and Caves tour kept us on the move for about 11 hours as we visited Tulum, one of the most significant Maya sites in the region, did some ziplining, rappelled from an obscene height above the jungle tree line and plunged into a subterranean world while snorkeling in an underground cave (cenote).
When you come to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen or any of the other resort cities in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can be overwhelmed with the options for adventure. And when you decide to get away from the resorts for a day exploring, you want to have a solid plan to get the most fun for your money. We always look for a tour that features a wide variety of activities that interest us with a company that makes our day hassle-free.
Let me tell you how our Cancun excursion went with Aventuras Mayas and Olympus Tours.
Israel, who goes by the nickname Flash, kept us well informed and entertained as he outlined the day's plan and said he would be bringing us first to Tulum, where we met with an expert on Maya culture and history. Rafael Gonzalez guided us through the ruins site that sits on the coastline overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The well-preserved walled facility used to be home for more than 1,500 and was a significant port for commerce.
After we contemplated life in the time of the Maya people and wandered through the ruins for a bit, it was time to gather to head into the Mayan jungle for lunch and thrill-seeking activities.
The first steps toward the edge were harrowing, but once you lean back into your harness and know you are safely attached to the ropes, you can just let go and control your descent. Wheeee!
This is when we all really started to connect as a group. Cheering on one another as we eased past any fears to try something new and exciting. Israel, I mean Flash, gave us thorough safety instructions and nimbly delivered instructions -- and jokes -- in both English and Spanish. When I told him I was eager to learn more Spanish, he made it a point throughout the day to engage me with new terms and words that I could use.
Today, they are still considered sacred places to be respected. Visitors are told not to speak loudly of scream when inside -- even if you encounter the winged creatures that call these places home. We saw several bats, most hanging upside down on the ceilings and a few buzzing past our heads. Easing into the waters, we stuck in our heads and saw several catfish. The water is perfectly clear and calm, and making our way to all reaches of the cave, we had to watch our heads, which were constantly at risk of a bump from the thousands of hanging stalactites.
Tulum and its surrounding region are hugely popular destinations to visit when you travel to Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum is located about a 75-mile drive from Cancun's Hotel Zone, straight along Highway 307. Booking a Cancun to Tulum shuttle service is another good option to get there. That way, you can enjoy a flexible schedule visiting all the sites that you want.
We spent about 30 minutes exploring the cool darkness before it was time to re-emerge to the world above. Our adventures had come to an end, and it was time to dry off, pack up and ride back to our hotels. Still buzzing from the day full of exciting experiences, the shuttle van was filled with laughter and conversation as we relayed our favorite parts of the tour.
About 25 minutes into the ride, though, most of our 11 had fallen asleep. A sure sign of a satisfyingly exhausting day of adventure.
Thanks for reading.
Travel fit! Travel happy! Travel often!
In The Loop Travel was a guest of Olympus Tours for a day of adventure in the Yucatan Peninsula.